Placed in a wonderful landscape!
Chiang Dao, a district town 70 km north of Chiang Mai, is a useful stopping-off point for visitors to the Chiang Dao Caves. The surfaced road running east from the town leads to a series of hilltribe villages: Palong, Mussur, Lahu and Karen. Most of these are situated on public forest reserve land and many of the inhabitants do not have Thai citizenship. They have built simple huts where tourists can stay (฿20 a night) and a number of trekking companies in Chiang Mai begin or end their treks in the villages here. The town has a number of good restaurants; of particular note is the locally renowned Bun Thong Phanit (on the left-hand side, travelling north, in a wooden shophouse), which serves excellent khao kha muu (baked pork with rice).
As Chiang Dao is on the main Chiang Mai–Fang road, there are numerous buses and songthaews from the Chang Puak bus station.